EditorĀ“s Pick

Fire, carbon and Indigenous livelihoods in the Top End

For hundreds of thousands of years, dry-season burning has shaped the ecology of the Northern Territory's Top End. Now, through its role in carbon abatement, controlled burning is playing an important role in the region's economy, especially in remote Aboriginal communities.

Alan Andersen     08-Jul-2013

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Features


Can the property development industry deliver climate-ready cities?
Feature
Developers often cop criticism for being environmental vandals who'd do anything in the name of profit. But the industry is complex, ranging from one-off ‘mum and dad' investors to global corporations. One thing they all have in common is that what they produce – residential and commercial developments – will need to perform in future environments that may call into question how or why the structures were built in the first place.
Eddo Coiacetto     27-Jan-2015
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Australian farmers face increasing threat of new diseases: report
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A nationwide outbreak of foot and mouth disease; an invasion of a devastating wheat disease; our honeybees completely wiped out. These are just three possible disastrous scenarios facing Australia; they're considered in the Australia’s Biosecurity Future report recently published by CSIRO and its partners.
Gary Fitt     27-Jan-2015
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Mapping East Asia’s disappearing tidal flats
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Who speaks for the tidal flat? There are many voices for the mangrove forest, the coral reef and the seagrass meadow, but the chorus for the mud, sand and silt flats that sit hidden under shallow water for most of the tidal cycle is often silent.
Nick Murray     19-Jan-2015
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Bushfires kill, but knowing exactly how might make them less deadly
Feature
The latest round of bushfires, which claimed 27 homes in the Adelaide Hills, has once again highlighted the importance of planning for the worst. Mercifully, no human lives were lost, and it will be important to learn whatever lessons we can to avoid future tragedies.
Justin Leonard     19-Jan-2015
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Explainer: the RV Investigator's role in marine science
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We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our deepest oceans, and only 12 per cent of the ocean floor within Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone has so far been mapped.
Toni Moate     22-Dec-2014
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Can farmers live with dingoes?
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ECOS has been exploring the ecological value of dingoes and other apex predators within ecosystems, as part of a wider debate about whether such predators should be culled or conserved in areas where they come into conflict with humans and human property. Now we ask, is it possible for dingoes and livestock grazing to co-exist?
Michele Sabto     22-Dec-2014
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How flesh-eaters helped shape our ecosystems
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Australian carnivores exhibit a remarkable diversity, from the small antechinuses found in rainforest trees, to goannas living in the heat of the central and western deserts. Each plays a vital role in our ecosystems, keeping other predators and herbivores under check and exerting ecological pressure from the top down.
15-Dec-2014
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‘Primary’ forests? Yes, there is a difference – and we need them more than ever
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What often gets lost in the public debate about forests is the fact that they are not all the same. This is not just a rhetorical point. The world's ‘primary' forests – those barely touched by industrial human activity – naturally sequester and store vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere; are home to species found nowhere else; are a source of abundant freshwater; and provide sustainable livelihoods for forest-dwelling Indigenous communities.
Brendan Mackey     15-Dec-2014
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Listening to the land
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Imagine yourself in the middle of the rainforest. Close your eyes. What do you hear? Perhaps the rustling of ground birds scratching around in the leaf litter, the sudden whip of a whipbird, the machine gun rattle of Lewin's honeyeater, the swish of the high canopy as the wind passes overhead.
May-Le Ng     12-Dec-2014
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Australia should export more ideas and fewer greenhouse emissions
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As climate negotiators meet at the United Nations' Lima summit, which comes hot on the heels of the landmark US-China climate deal, there is a renewed focus on how the world can move to a lower-emissions future.
Alex Wonhas     08-Dec-2014
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Urbanisation brings animals and diseases closer to home
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Our world is becoming increasingly urbanised. In 1950, just 30 per cent of the world's population lived in urban areas. This number is now over 50 per cent and rising. Among urbanisation's many environmental challenges is the increased risk of pathogen transmission.
Cadhla Firth and Kurt Zuelke     02-Dec-2014
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Megadosing the environment? How toxic waste from drug manufacture can create problems
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We've all heard about the pollution of our waterways from drug and cosmetic residues in our sewage and wastewater. But what about the waste discharged from pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, especially the growing number of factories in places like India and China?
Rachel Sullivan     02-Dec-2014
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